Yes, me too. I had a repressive, abusive, autocratic Dad who I hated as a youngster enough to leave home at age 16 to start working and a life of my own. I did return to his house briefly about a year later but then got married and moved away across the country and saw him only one more time before he died at age 63. The mailman liked him! Kind of a surprise to remaining family, sis and mom.
I lost my hate for Dad when I was told about some of his childhood whippings by his father, a country veterinarian in some old country, who would take the word of others over his son's; a grandfather who reputedly sang like an angel in church on a Sunday and came home to beat his diminutive wife until Dad stood up to him one day....and then came WW2 when he was all of 18 yrs and was marched to Italy over the Alps, losing his friends to enemy fire until he landed in a POW camp in Italy, then on to Canada as a DP. A father in his early 20's. I first born.
I did not stop hating all at once, unfortunately, no epiphany and instant insight! No karma for that! Only hard work for me but also, distance and time to think and try to understand from his side. He did help me when I asked for a loan and when I returned to pay it back (foolish, my sis & mom said) I tried talking to Dad to draw him out a little but he kept so much locked up inside that he was not able to let much out anymore, and old before his time. I could see that he was just not able! I hope it gave him some comfort to be approached by his daughter. At least it was before he died. I am so glad.
As I reviewed my life I came to realize, after seeing Buddhist teachings that, if we choose our parents, especially the opposite sex parent, perhaps I decided, that my wayward spirit needed his strong personality (tho terribly overbearing) for me to develop as a good person, and so perhaps that is how we came together in this life. Honesty above all, good work, creativity, compassion (in his own way), responsibility.....
It is so sad when I think on how his life went, how he tried to keep it together til he died from a heart attack, surely it must have been broken? his heart, I mean. And so, gradually I lost my hatred as I knew that he had only the best of intentions for me and did help me when I asked for it.
When I was 13, I recall saying to Mom, that Hell was life on Earth, as it was living with Dad. She didn't know what to make of it!
And now, it is Mom I am estranged from! The Mother who was always the understanding one, who gave to her other daughter a life changing gift that excluded me. I had such a hard time getting close to Mom when she moved nearby and now I think it was due to this long held secret, which, when finally outed accidentally by sis, ended our relationship at Mom's instigation. Whew! I got lucky, I figure, as sis is now taking care of the evil tempered woman who is my Mother.
Oy! Go figure!
They both still hate Dad and will hate him til the day they die, not realizing the importance of forgiveness. It felt so much better to be at peace with Dad and our past. When I mentioned forgiveness including Dad, sis went quiet on the phone (wanting forgiveness for self but not willing to give it to Dad?). I suppose they think I will never forgive them......but how will they know if they will not speak with me?
There are still some cranky days when I awake and feel anger and hatred toward what they did to me and their attitudes toward me but I do know better than to harbour such or to try too hard to make it all go away too quickly. It does take time and small steps,
unless you have that karmic quality that allows for quick release for these things.
Unfortunately my mind is like a steel trap, unwilling to let go..........until those neural circuits learn new paths, making learning a slow go for me! Ah dummy D
Not everyone can afford to pay for therapy, I know, but the pros have seen it all before and do know how we tick and what might work for our personality once they get to know us. If you can afford some talking sessions with a friendly listener and adviser, it may help a lot, much faster than working on one's own.
May the Blessing of understanding and forgiveness be yours, soon!